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Climate Alarmism and Malthusianism (rebuttal to Taylor)

By Robert Bradley Jr. – Master Resource – February 25, 2020

“The pseudo-intellectual right loves to compare climate concern and action with Malthusianism. I’ve never quite understood what the heck these things have in common.” (Jerry Taylor, October 13, 2019)

“What environmentalists mainly say … is not that we are running out of energy but that we are running out of environment–that is, running out of the capacity of air, water, soil and biota to absorb, without intolerable consequences for human well-being, the effects of energy extraction, transport, transformation and use.” (John Holdren, April 2002)

Jerry Taylor, please read the literature before opining on such matters as energy and the environment. Climate change is the latest Malthusian scare, per John Holdren. And the common denominator of the Malthusian worldview is overpopulation, as Pierre Desrochers and Joanna Szurmak document in Population Bombed! Exploding the Link Between Overpopulation and Climate Change (2018).

Some quotations from Population Bombed cement the tie-in:

  • Numerous population control advocates have linked anthropogenic climate change to population growth, or tried to revive interest in invoking anthropogenic climate change as the key negative outcome of continued economic growth linked to, foremost among causes, an increasing population.
  • … population Bomber” himself, Paul Ehrlich … during a conference in 1968 identified anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions as a “serious limiting factor” to economic growth.
  • By the 1970s, Ehrlich, his wife Anne and his collaborator John Holdren raised fears that carbon dioxide “produced by combustion of fossil fuels in quantities too large to contain” may “already be influencing climate” and, as such, constituted one of the “gravest threats to human well-being. . . [i.e.] the loss of natural services now provided by biogeochemical processes.”
  • [Julian] Simon then summarized the position of most environmentalists as follows: “But isn’t obvious. . . that additional people and additional economic growth will cause us to use more energy and hence emit more greenhouse gases? Therefore, even if we can’t be sure of the greenhouse effect, wouldn’t it be prudent to cut back on growth?”
  • The economist Jacqueline Kasun similarly believed at the time that “by the 1990s the doomsayers had shifted their attack” as they could no longer invoke resource depletion as the key growth-limiting issue. As she wrote, “the alarmists didn’t miss a step. The problem, they now said, was that people were using too much energy and were causing Global Warming.”
  • Canadian academic Michael Hart has commented that “for alarmists, climate mitigation policy is as much a means of achieving their larger goals as it is a matter of addressing a possibly serious issue.”
  • Canadian academic, historical climatologist Tim Ball, has long argued, the climate change policy agenda is based on certain assumptions ultimately related to a fear of reaching another terrestrial set of limits through overpopulation.
  • Maurice Strong (1929–2015), who was described by business journalist Peter Foster as “[m]ore than any other individual. . . responsible for promoting the [UN] climate agenda,” … [stated] “with a growing global population, we will have to recognise that having children is not just a personal issue but a societal issue and at a certain point we may be faced with a need to have a permit to have a child.”
  • [Strong] also referred to the need for “national population policies” in his opening speech at the 1972 Stockholm Conference. Strong reportedly stated the following Malthusian prediction at the 1992 Earth Summit: “Either we reduce the world’s population voluntarily or nature will do this for us, but brutally.”
  • The first chairman of the IPCC (1988-1997), Bert Bolin, was not only an early convert to the alleged catastrophic impact of CO2 emissions, but also a pessimist on population and resources issues, as evidenced in his stance on the controversy surrounding the 2001 publication of The Skeptical Environmentalist by the Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg.
  • John Holdren contradicted many of his earlier warnings of imminent resource depletion by arguing that while the word was not “running out of energy,” it was “running out of environment,” by which he meant “running out of the capacity of air, water, soil and biota to absorb, without intolerable consequences for human well-being, the effects of energy extraction, transport, transformation and use.”
  • The second chairman of the IPCC (1997–2002), Robert Watson, would later go on the record with the following line of reasoning: “The more people we have on the Earth and the richer they are, the more they can demand resources. There’s more demand for food, more demand for water, more demand for energy. . . So, there’s no question the threats on the Earth today are far more than, say, 50 years ago and in 50 years’ time, there will even be more threats.”
  • The third chairman of the IPCC (2002-2015), Rajendra K. Pachauri … was “not going to rest easy until [he has] articulated in every possible forum the need to bring about major structural changes in economic growth and development. That’s the real issue. Climate change is just a part of it.”
  • Timothy E. Wirth, one of the main organizers of the 1988 James Hansen hearing on climate change, and from 1998 to 2013 president of the (hardcore Malthusian) … is on the record as stating in 1993: “We’ve got to ride this global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing in terms of economic and environmental policy.

Other documentation from Desrochers and Szurmak includes the views of Christine Stewart, then Canadian Minister of the Environment; Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action (2010–2014); Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Christiana Figueres ; Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, the director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research; researchers associated with the Population Reference Bureau and the Worldwatch Institute; Canadian climate scientist Andrew Weaver of the British Columbia Green Party; and the late climatologist Stephen Schneider

So what are the climate Malthusians missing? The same thing as before: human ingenuity. Desrochers and Szurmak note:

… there is ample evidence of a passionate commitment towards the protection of the planet, but there is no sign of recognition that humanity can do, and has done, more than simply consume resources. At no point do neo-Malthusians admit the possibility that technological innovations and human creativity have a place among the things that deserve a place on Earth. What pessimist activists desire is a consensus on the classification of humanity as out of control and inherently driven by destructive greed, thus in need of top-down regulation by the few remaining clear-thinking and benign autocrats – that is, functionaries – of the global government.

Buyer beware of climate alarmism and Malthusianism.

February 25, 2020 Posted by | Environmentalism, Malthusian Ideology, Phony Scarcity, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

Hide The Decline: A Climategate Backgrounder

CDN • December 4, 2019

Dr. John Robson looks back on the 10th anniversary of the exposure of the scandalous “Climategate” decision to delete awkward data that contradicted the idea that settled science said we face a man-made global warming crisis.

TRANSCRIPT

Narrator

20 years ago, in April 1998, a paper appeared in the prestigious journal Nature that would go on to be one of the most contentious and influential climate science papers of all time.

Its lead author was Michael E. Mann, at the time a young researcher just starting his career. From the initials of Mann and his coauthors the paper came to be called MBH98, but to many people it’s best known for introducing the famous “hockey stick” graph.

Based on a statistical analysis of tree rings and other natural formations, it purported to show the average annual temperature of the Northern Hemisphere back to AD1400 as basically flatlining (the handle) for hundreds of years until it suddenly shot upward (the blade) in the 20th century.

A year later the same authors published an extended version going back to AD1000. Both versions presented the same stunning picture: the world’s climate had apparently followed a steady, gentle cooling trend for 900 years, then in the 20th century a violent warming trend began, unlike anything in the past millennium. The authors fingered rising CO2 emissions as the culprit.

Within two years the hockey stick rocketed to international fame, after becoming the centrepiece of the 2001 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, where it appeared six times, always in full colour, and was heavily promoted at an international press conference by IPCC Chairman Sir John Houghton.

Governments around the world began using the hockey stick, with the full authority of the IPCC behind it, to promote the global warming alarm.

John Robson

I’m John Robson, and this is a Climate Discussion Nexus backgrounder on Hiding the Decline.

There was always something dubious about this chart. And not just the way it erased the well-known Medieval Warm Period. It’s also that the Mann series switched from tree rings to temperature readings at the precise point the line changed direction dramatically. Which would normally get scientists excited about possible weaknesses in the methodology, particularly the discrepancy between the data sets, rather than pretending there was nothing to worry about. And finally it was very strange, at least from a scientific perspective, that this one paper got so much publicity because back in 1998 Mann and his colleagues were not the only ones studying ancient tree ring data and other researchers did not find what they did.

Narrator

Just two months after MBH98 appeared, Nature published another climate reconstruction, this time by the late British scientist Keith Briffa and 4 coauthors.

Like Mann’s study, it used tree ring records from all over the Northern Hemisphere to estimate temperatures back to the year 1400. But unlike Mann’s paper, the result looked nothing like a hockey stick. It showed a lot of variability over time, and record warmth in the 1930s, but no special warming pattern since then.

In fact, it showed cooling up to 1993, with temperatures ending below the average of the past six centuries.

John Robson

The climate science community was confronted with two studies at the same time, both using similar methods to study the same thing, and coming up with very different answers. Normally that kind of result means the science is not settled, the data may not be reliable, and the uncertainties need to be explained.

In this case, apparently, it meant instead that a body needed to be buried for political reasons. The story of the disappearance of the Briffa data is one of the darkest episodes in modern science.

And now a word from our sponsor. And that’s you, because the Climate Discussion Nexus is supported by ordinary Canadians who want to see more common sense, more logic, and more facts in the discussion on climate change… and less yelling. If you want to help us, subscribe to our YouTube channel, go to our Patreon page, make a pledge, become a monthly sponsor. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Narrator

It’s long been known that the Earth’s climate is naturally variable. The study of ancient climate conditions is called paleoclimatology. In the first report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, back in 1990, they summarized the conventional view among paleoclimate experts that at the end of the last ice age about 10,000 years ago, the climate warmed for about 4,000 years, reached a state much warmer than the present and stayed there for several millennia, then began cycling between cooling and warming.

The Roman era and the Medieval era were both relatively warm compared to the present, and the Little Ice Age, which ended in the early 1800s, was relatively cold. And now we are in another warm phase of the cycle, though according to the conventional view as of 1990, it’s nothing special compared to previous eras.

The 1990 IPCC diagram of the familiar cycle matches other records, such as this long term temperature reconstruction from ice cores taken out of the Greenland ice cap.

Similar evidence for past warming episodes comes from the Riviere Boniface region in the Ungava Peninsula of northern Quebec. In 1997, scientists from Laval University in Quebec published evidence of the remains of a black spruce forest preserved in peat in the arctic tundra. The trees grew over an interval spanning 1000 BC to almost 1600 AD.

John Robson

How could there be a forest in the Arctic? Simple. It used to be warmer there than it is to this day. Periods of rapid forest growth there happened during the Roman and Medieval warm periods. But a major fire in the late 1500s wiped out the trees, and it’s been too cold for them to grow back ever since. In fact, it’s been considerably too cold. The authors point out that the forest remains they studied are 130 km north of the present tree line. For a forest to have grown so far north a thousand years ago means it had to have been much warmer there for a long time compared to what we’re now experiencing.

The problem for alarmists is that the existence of the Medieval Warm Period made it hard to claim that recent climate warming is anything unusual. So it had to go. Which made the Mann hockey stick very attractive to the IPCC.

Narrator

MBH98’s headline conclusion was that today’s warming was unlike anything the Earth had seen in a thousand years. But, the critics would say, that’s based on studying tree rings. Maybe the warming happened, and the tree rings simply don’t show it. Which is where Briffa’s data was critical.

The 20th century is the one interval where we have both thermometer data and tree ring records, and we can see that the trees don’t show any warming. So, if they fail to respond to 20th century warming, how do we know that they don’t also miss it in earlier centuries?

A third paper published in 1998 emphasized these challenges. The lead author was UK scientist Phil Jones, and his list of coauthors included Keith Briffa and two others. They said that, of the various ancient climate records available, tree rings were probably the best, but they can be very unreliable.

Their own result fell between Mann’s and Briffa’s, with a clear Little Ice Age and a modern interval about as warm as the Medieval period. But since it was based on a very small data set they cautioned against reading too much into it.

John Robson

Mann’s paper, by contrast, swept aside the uncertainties. He and his coauthors claimed “moderately high levels of confidence” that the 1990s were the warmest decade, and 1998 the warmest year, of the millennium – of the last 1,000 years. And that brought the IPCC calling.

Narrator

In 1999 the IPCC was starting work on its Third Assessment Report. Out of all the people doing tree ring temperature analysis, they picked Michael Mann to write the summary.

John Robson

Jones and Briffa were invited to serve as contributors, but under IPCC rules, it’s the Lead Authors who decide what goes in. By appointing Mann, the IPCC was signalling what message they were looking for. And soon they would be even more explicit about what they were after.

Narrator

On September 1st 1999 the IPCC convened a meeting of the authors in Arusha, Tanzania, where they spent three days discussing what the first draft of the report should include. Ten years later a large library of emails among Jones, Briffa, Mann and other climate scientists would be leaked onto the internet, which is how we came to possess the inside details of what happened next.

On September 22nd 1999, three weeks after the Arusha meeting, IPCC Coordinating Lead Author Chris Folland sent around a note stating

A proxy diagram of temperature change is a clear favourite for the Policy Makers summary. But the current diagram with the tree ring only data [Briffa’s] somewhat contradicts the [Mann] multiproxy curve and dilutes the message rather significantly.

So he asked that Mann’s curve be given priority.

John Robson

Now hold on a moment. It’s 1999, almost two years before the report was due to be released and before the expert review process had even started. Yet the IPCC leadership had already decided on the “message” they wanted in the Summary for Policymakers, and they didn’t want it “diluted” even though they knew the available data was contradictory and inconclusive?

Clearly the IPCC didn’t see their job as surveying the science and writing a summary that reflected the full range of data and of opinions. Instead they decided ahead of time on a compelling message, that man-made climate change was a pressing crisis, and then they looked for the science to support it.

Narrator

Mann proposed doing what Folland wanted by circulating a diagram showing only his hockey stick and the Jones diagram, while leaving out Briffa’s altogether. Jones objected, and Briffa likewise was furious. He wrote to the author team:

I know Mike thinks his series is the ‘best’ and he might be right – but he may also be too dismissive of other data and possibly over confident in his… After all, the early (pre-instrumental) data are much less reliable as indicators of global temperature than is apparent in modern calibrations.”

John Robson

But Briffa also understood the problem: The data didn’t support the story the IPCC wanted to tell.

I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.

He then acknowledged what was really at stake: They were being asked to override their scientific judgment in service of the IPCC’s political agenda.

I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. I do not believe that global mean annual temperatures have simply cooled progressively over thousands of years as Mike appears to and I contend that that there is strong evidence for major changes in climate over the Holocene.

Mann then offered to put the Briffa data back in. But, he warned, they didn’t understand why the data sets differed, and climate skeptics might use this to cast doubt on their work and undermine the peoples’ faith:

So, if we show Keith’s series in this plot, we have to comment that “something else” is responsible for the discrepancies in this case… We would need to put in a few words in this regard. Otherwise, the skeptics would have a field day casting doubt on our ability to understand the factors that influence these estimates and, thus, can undermine faith in the paleoestimates.

The real problem wasn’t that skeptics would cast doubt on their message, it was that the contradictions in the data would cast doubt on their message.

The end result, many months later, was that Mann’s hockey stick graph appeared alone in the Summary for Policymakers, backed by this Figure in the main report.

Narrator

The black line is Mann’s curve, the pink one is Jones’, and the green one peeking from behind was Briffa’s modified data, attributed to a later paper published in 2000. The red line leading upwards at the end was from modern thermometer data. The diagram suggested, amazingly, that all the data were in perfect agreement.

John Robson

Where did the discrepancy go?

Narrator

For the next five years, nobody asked that question. Then in 2005, Stephen McIntyre of Toronto, a semi-retired mining consultant who had taken an interest in paleoclimate studies, got curious about it and looked up the Briffa paper. Right away, he noticed something odd.

The green curve was supposedly the one Briffa submitted to the IPCC. But it goes up to 1994 in the journal article, whereas the IPCC version stopped at 1960.

John Robson

They had deleted the final 33 years of data—the declining portion.

Narrator

McIntyre hunted through some online data archives and found the full Briffa series, then drew what the IPCC diagram would have looked like if they had used all the data.

John Robson

What a difference. By deleting the last part of the blue line, they concealed the contradictions among the data sets, and the questions it raised about the validity of the methods.

Steve McIntyre

The reason why Briffa’s data was a problem for them was that his temperature reconstruction from tree rings went sharply down in the last half of the 20th century when temperatures were going up. So the question for any rational observer was, if tree ring data went down while temperatures went up, what makes you think that these are a good measurement, or a good proxy, for temperatures? And if they went down when it was warm in the 20th century, how do we know they didn’t do that in the past? These are questions that every scientist would ask if they were presented with this data, and by concealing the data, they stopped people from asking that question.

John Robson

McIntyre’s discovery didn’t attract much immediate attention, but when the Climategate emails came out, he began digging into the issue further. One of the most notorious emails was from Phil Jones dated just two months after the Arusha meeting, on November 16, 1999, when he was preparing a similar diagram that would go on the cover of a major report from the World Meteorological Organization. Writing to Mann and his MBH98 coauthors, Jones said:

I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie from 1981 onwards) amd from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.

Jones was referring to this chart, which, like the IPCC diagram, made it look like all the data sets agreed and showed unprecedented recent warming. It achieved this effect by deleting the Briffa data after 1960, splicing in thermometer data to each series up to the year 2000, then smoothing over the splice, as Jones said, to hide the decline. That’s quite the trick.

Steve McIntyre

To give you an idea of how big a story it was, the Climategate emails were released at approximately the same time as Tiger Woods’ implosion. And there were more, there were 22 million hits for Climategate and there were 21 million hits for Tiger Woods. It was a huge social media story, but it was barely covered in the national media.

Narrator

In the aftermath of Climategate a number of inquiries were convened by the UK government into the conduct of Jones, Briffa and their British colleagues.

John Robson

But, as would be expected in bureaucratic circles, the reports mostly served to whitewash the revelations, to protect the reputations of the universities involved, and of course to protect the notion that there was a proven man-made global warming crisis.

Narrator

The main investigative team was headed by Muir Russell, and it conceded that a minor wrist slap was in order for this incident.

“In relation to “hide the decline” we find that, given its subsequent iconic significance (not least the use of a similar figure in the [IPCC Report], the figure supplied for the WMO Report was misleading in not describing that one of the series was truncated post 1960 for the figure, and in not being clear on the fact that proxy and instrumental data were spliced together.”

Steve McIntyre

The operative word is there were “sort of” inquiries. None of the inquiries, however, squarely addressed or even addressed at all, the idea of senior IPCC scientists directing junior scientists to not, quote, “dilute the message”, or what the junior scientists had done to not, quote, “dilute the message.” The message they were trying to put out was that the change in climate was alarming, and so any data that they had that showed that it wasn’t alarming, they didn’t want to show. It would dilute the message.

Narrator

The IPCC has never owned up to what happened, or issued a correction. In fact the fraudulent diagram is still on their website.

John Robson

By hiding the decline, they misled world leaders and citizens on an issue that they themselves judged to be critically important. They falsified data to conceal their own uncertainty and the potential unreliability of the methods they were using. And that is not how science is done.

It’s been 20 years now since this body was buried. But it still stinks. So, next time you see an apparently tidy and compelling message from the IPCC, judge its credibility accordingly.

Thanks for watching. To support the Climate Discussion Nexus, subscribe to our YouTube channel and our newsletter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and go to our Patreon page and make a pledge.

For the Climate Discussion Nexus, I’m John Robson.

January 11, 2020 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , | Leave a comment

Retracted Ocean Warming Paper & the IPCC

A new UN report relies on discredited research – and on academics who conceal vital information

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | October 14, 2019

Last Halloween, the Washington Post ran a dramatic headline: Startling new research finds large buildup of heat in the oceans, suggesting a faster rate of global warming.

This story was huge news worldwide. Fortune magazine quoted Laure Resplandy, the Princeton University oceanographer who was the research paper’s lead author. “The planet warmed more than we thought,” she said. “It was hidden from us just because we didn’t sample it right.”

In fact, the problem wasn’t hiding in the ocean, but in the paper’s own mathematical calculations. Within days Nic Lewis, a UK private citizen and math whiz, had published the first of four detailed critiques of the paper’s statistical methodology (see here, here, here, and here).

We’re told that research published in prestigious scientific journals is reliable, and that peer review is meaningful. Yet 19 days after those Halloween headlines, the journal announced the authors had acknowledged a number of errors.

Two weeks ago, presumably after months of attempting to rescue the paper, the journal threw in the towel and retracted it wholesale.

What happened in between? The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a 1,200-page report about oceans. Chapter 5 of that report cites this now-retracted research (see pages 5-27 and 5-183 here).

In fairness, this single citation may just be a typo. There’s a good chance the IPCC meant to cite a different 2018 paper, in which Resplandy was also the lead author.

But the matter doesn’t end there. The UK-based Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is now pointing out that a crucial conclusion of the IPCC’s report relies heavily on a second paper titled How fast are the oceans warming?

Written by Lijing Cheng and colleagues John Abraham, Zeke Hausfather, and Kevin Trenberth, it was published in January 2019 in Science. The journal calls it a ‘Perspective,’ because rather than being a research paper, it’s more of an argument.

In three places, the Halloween research is cited to support its conclusions. Nowhere do Cheng and his colleagues acknowledge that the statistical methodology of the Halloween research had already been torn to shreds, that the paper’s authors had already conceded it was flawed.

The bottom line? Chapters 4 and 5 of the IPCC’s ocean report rely on the 2019 Cheng ‘Perspective.’ The Cheng ‘Perspective’ relies on research that has now been officially retracted.

The even worse bottom line? Lijing Cheng – an academic who concealed vital information in an article published in Science this year – was intimately involved in the preparation of the IPCC’s ocean report. He was a lead author for Chapter 1. He was a contributing author for Chapters 3 and 5. And he helped draft the Summary for Policymakers.

October 14, 2019 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

Mysterious IPCC Expertise

The IPCC publishes the citizenship and gender of its authors – but says nothing about their scientific expertise

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | October 17, 2018

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) claims to be a scientific organization. But it’s really a political one.

An obvious tell is how it describes its personnel. In the old days, IPCC reports listed people according to their role and their country. Matters have improved since then.

Today, the IPCC gives us six data points about its personnel rather than three. A webpage associated with its latest report tells us each individual’s:

  1. name
  2. IPCC role (coordinating lead author, lead author, review editor)
  3. gender
  4. country of residence
  5. citizenship
  6. institutional affiliation

But this only looks like progress. In the real world, the additional info is irrelevant. Science doesn’t care where someone lives or what citizenship they hold. Science doesn’t care if they’re a man or a woman.

If the IPCC is a panel of experts, the critical issue is: What is each of these people an expert in? More than 30 years after its founding, the IPCC still thinks it doesn’t need to talk about this.

For the UN bureaucrats who run the show, some things are important. Some are not. The nature of an author’s scientific expertise clearly isn’t a burning issue. But lots of attention is being paid to checking diversity boxes.

October 17, 2018 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | | 6 Comments

The Dark Story Behind Global Warming aka Climate Change

By F. William Engdahl – New Eastern Outlook – 16.10.2018

The recent UN global warming conference under auspices of the deceptively-named International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded its meeting in South Korea discussing how to drastically limit global temperature rise. Mainstream media is predictably retailing various panic scenarios “predicting” catastrophic climate change because of man-made emissions of Greenhouse Gases, especially CO2, if drastic changes in our lifestyle are not urgently undertaken. There is only one thing wrong with all that. It’s based on fake science and corrupted climate modelers who have reaped by now [many] billions in government research grants to buttress the arguments for radical change in our standard of living. We might casually ask “What’s the point?” The answer is not positive.

The South Korea meeting of the UN IPCC discussed measures needed, according to their computer models, to limit global temperature rise to below  1.5 Centigrade above levels of the pre-industrial era. One of the panel members and authors of the latest IPCC Special Report on Global Warming, Drew Shindell, at Duke University told the press that to meet the arbitrary 1.5 degree target will require world CO2 emissions to drop by a staggering 40% in the next 12 years. The IPCC calls for a draconian “zero net emissions” of CO2 by 2050. That would mean complete ban on gas or diesel engines for cars and trucks, no coal power plants, transformation of the world agriculture to burning food as biofuels. Shindell modestly put it, “These are huge, huge shifts.”

The new IPCC report, SR15, declares that global warming of 1.5°C will “probably“ bring species extinction, weather extremes and risks to food supply, health and economic growth. To avoid this the IPCC estimates required energy investment alone will be $2.4 trillion per year. Could this explain the interest of major global banks, especially in the City of London in pushing the Global Warming card?

This scenario assumes an even more incredible dimension as it is generated by fake science and doctored data by a tight-knit group of climate scientists internationally that have so polarized scientific discourse that they label fellow scientists who try to argue as not mere global warming skeptics, but rather as “Climate Change deniers.” What does that bit of neuro-linguistic programming suggest? Holocaust deniers? Talk about how to kill legitimate scientific debate, the essence of true science. Recently the head of the UN IPCC proclaimed, “The debate over the science of climate change is well and truly over.”

What the UN panel chose to ignore was the fact the debate was anything but “over.” The Global Warming Petition Project, signed by over 31,000 American scientists states, “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gasses is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere and disruption of the Earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

‘Chicken Little’

Most interesting, about the dire warnings of global catastrophe if dramatic changes to our living standards are not undertaken urgently, is that the dire warnings are always attempts to frighten based on future prediction. When the “tipping point” of so-called irreversibility is passed with no evident catastrophe, they invent a new future point.

In 1982 Mostafa Tolba, executive director of the UN Environment Program (UNEP), warned the “world faces an ecological disaster as final as nuclear war within a couple of decades unless governments act now.” He predicted lack of action would bring “by the turn of the century, an environmental catastrophe which will witness devastation as complete, as irreversible as any nuclear holocaust.”In 1989 Noel Brown, of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP), said entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000. James Hansen, a key figure in the doomsday scenarios declared at that time that 350 ppm of CO2 was the upper limit, “to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed and to which life on Earth is adapted.” Rajendra Pachauri, then the chief of the UN IPCC, declared that 2012 was the climate deadline by which it was imperative to act: “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late.” Today the measured level is 414.

As UK scientist Philip Stott notes, “In essence, the Earth has been given a 10-year survival warning regularly for the last fifty or so years. …Our post-modern period of climate change angst can probably be traced back to the late-1960s… By 1973, and the ‘global cooling’ scare, it was in full swing, with predictions of the imminent collapse of the world within ten to twenty years…Environmentalists were warning that, by the year 2000, the population of the US would have fallen to only 22 million. In 1987, the scare abruptly changed to ‘global warming’, and the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) was established (1988)…”

Flawed Data

A central flaw to the computer models cited by the IPCC is the fact that they are purely theoretical models and not real. The hypothesis depends entirely on computer models generating scenarios of the future, with no empirical records that can verify either these models or their flawed prediction. As one scientific study concluded, “The computer climate models upon which ‘human-caused global warming’ is  based have  substantial  uncertainties  and  are  markedly unreliable. This is not surprising, since the climate is a coupled, non-linear dynamical system. It is very complex.” Coupled refers to the phenomenon that the oceans cause changes in the atmosphere and the atmosphere in turn affects the oceans. Both are complexly related to solar cycles. No single model predicting global warming or 2030 “tipping points” is able or even tries to integrate the most profound influence on Earth climate and weather, the activity of the sun and solar eruption cycles which determine ocean currents, jet stream activity, El ninos and our daily weather.

An Australian IT expert and independent researcher, John McLean, recently did a detailed analysis of the IPCC climate report. He notes that HadCRUT4 is the primary dataset used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to make its dramatic claims about “man-made global warming”, to justify its demands for trillions of dollars to be spent on “combating climate change.” But McLean points to egregious errors in the HadCRUT4 used by IPCC. He notes, “It’s very careless and amateur. About the standard of a first-year university student.” Among the errors, he cites places where temperature “averages were calculated from next to no information. For two years, the temperatures over land in the Southern Hemisphere were estimated from just one site in Indonesia.” In another place he found that for the Caribbean island, St Kitts temperature was recorded at 0 degrees C for a whole month, on two occasions. TheHadCRUT4 dataset is a joint production of the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre and the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia. This was the group at East Anglia that was exposed several years ago for the notorious Climategate scandals of faking data and deleting embarrassing emails to hide it. Mainstream media promptly buried the story, turning attention instead on “who illegally hacked East Anglia emails.”

Astonishing enough when we do a little basic research, we find that the IPCC never carried out a true scientific inquiry into the possible cases of change in Earth climate. Man made sources of change were arbitrarily asserted, and the game was on.

Malthusian Maurice Strong

Few are aware however of the political and even geopolitical origins of Global Warming theories. How did this come about? So-called Climate Change, aka Global Warming, is a neo-malthusian deindustrialization agenda originally developed by circles around the Rockefeller family in the early 1970’s to prevent the rise of independent industrial rivals, much as Trump’s trade wars today. In my book, Myths, Lies and Oil Wars, I detail how the highly influential Rockefeller group also backed creation of the Club of Rome, Aspen Institute, Worldwatch Institute and MIT Limits to Growth report. A key early organizer of Rockefeller’s ‘zero growth’ agenda in the early 1970s was David Rockefeller’s longtime friend, a Canadian oilman named Maurice Strong. Strong was one of the early propagators of the scientifically unfounded theory that man-made emissions from transportation vehicles, coal plants and agriculture caused a dramatic and accelerating global temperature rise which threatens civilization, so-called Global Warming.

As chairman of the 1972 Earth Day UN Stockholm Conference, Strong promoted an agenda of population reduction and lowering of living standards around the world to “save the environment.” Some years later the same Strong restated his radical ecologist stance: “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” Co-founder of the Rockefeller-tied Club of Rome, Dr Alexander King admitted the fraud in his book, The First Global Revolution. He stated, “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill… All these dangers are caused by human intervention… The real enemy, then, is humanity itself.”

Please reread that, and let it sink in. Humanity, and not the 147 global banks and multi-nationals who de facto determine today’s environment, bear the responsibility.

Following the Earth Summit, Strong was named Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, and Chief Policy Advisor to Kofi Annan. He was the key architect of the 1997-2005 Kyoto Protocol that declared man made Global Warming, according to “consensus,” was real and that it was “extremely likely” that man-made CO2 emissions have predominantly caused it. In 1988 Strong was key in creation of the UN IPCC and later the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change at the Rio Earth Summit which he chaired, and which approved his globalist UN Agenda 21.

The UN IPCC and its Global Warming agenda is a political and not a scientific project. Their latest report is, like the previous ones, based on fake science and outright fraud. MIT Professor Richard S Lindzen in a recent speech criticized politicians and activists who claim “the science is settled,” and demand “unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” He noted that it was totally implausible for such a complex “multifactor system” as the climate to be summarized by just one variable, global mean temperature change, and primarily controlled by just a 1-2 per cent variance in the energy budget due to CO2. Lindzen described how “an implausible conjecture backed by false evidence, repeated incessantly, has become ‘knowledge,’ used to promote the overturn of industrial civilization.” Our world indeed needs a “staggering transformation,” but one that promotes health and stability of the human species instead.

October 16, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 3 Comments

IPCC Pretends the Scientific Publishing Crisis Doesn’t Exist

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | October 8, 2018

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a press release today. It tells us the IPCC assesses “thousands of scientific papers published each year,” and that its latest report relies on “more than 6,000 references.”

That sounds impressive until one remembers that academic publishing is in the grips of a reproducibility crisis. A disturbing percentage of the research published in medicine, economics, computer science, psychology, and other fields simply doesn’t stand up. Whenever independent third parties attempt to reproduce/replicate this work – carrying out the same research in order to achieve the same findings – the success rate is dismal.

The influential 2005 paper, Why Most Published Research Findings Are False, is now very old news. Headlines declaring that ‘science is broken’ have become commonplace. In 2015, the editor-in-chief of The Lancet declared that “much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue.”

So here’s the bottom line: We know that studies about promising drugs typically fail when strangers attempt to reproduce those studies. We know that flashy physics research published in Science and Nature has been wholly fraudulent. We know that half of economics papers can’t be replicated, even with assistance from their own authors. We know political bias distorts the peer-review process in psychology. (All of this is discussed in a report I wrote in 2016).

We therefore have no earthly reason to imagine that climate science is exempt from these kinds of problems.

If half of the scientific literature is untrue, it therefore follows that half of climate research is also untrue.

This means that 3,000 of the IPCC’s 6,000 references aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.

BACKGROUND: The IPCC is a UN bureaucracy. Governments select scientists to write climate reports – one of which has just been completed.

These scientists are further asked to summarize their work. But the scientist-crafted summary is only a draft. At the meeting that just ended in South Korea, the draft was re-written by politicians, diplomats, and bureaucrats representing the political establishments of various countries.

At that point, the summary forfeited any conceivable claim to be a scientific document and became, instead, a politically-negotiated statement.

Today’s press release announces that the politicized summary was “approved by governments” and has therefore been made public (download it here).

Please note: the report itself has not been made public. Nor has the draft summary containing the scientists’ own words. (Although the IPCC claims to be ultra-transparent, its website says the original/draft version of the Summary for Policymakers is available only to “authorised users” such as government officials.)

This is the IPCC’s standard MO. It controls the message by feeding the media a politically-negotiated Summary of its latest work. Then it stands back and lets gullible reporters mislead the public about what the science says.

LINKS:

The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert

October 8, 2018 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | | 3 Comments

What is the Meaningful 97% in the Climate Debate?

By Dr. Tim Ball | Watts Up With That? | September 29, 2018

For a brief period, the New York Times added a column to their best-seller book list. It identified the percentage of people who finished reading the book. As I recall, the outright winner for lowest percentage was Umberto Eco’s Name of the Rose with only 6%. It is an excellent and fascinating book if you understand the Catholic church, its theological disputes, know much about medieval mythology, understand Catholic religious orders, and are familiar with the history of Italy in the Middle Ages. As one reviewer wrote, “I won’t lie to you. It is absolutely a slog at times.” This phrase struck me because it is exactly what a lawyer told me after reading my book “The Deliberate Corruption of Climate Science.”

I told him it was a slog to research because it required reading all the Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a task that few, certainly fewer than 6%, ever achieve, including most of the people involved with the production. This is the tragedy. There are so many people with such strong, definitive views, including among skeptics and the general science community who have never read the Reports at all. The challenge is made more difficult by the deliberate attempt to separate truth and reality from propaganda and the political agenda.

In media interviews or discussions with the public, the most frequent opening challenge is; “But don’t 97% of scientists agree?” It is usually said obliquely to imply that you know a lot, and I don’t understand, but I assume you are wrong because you are in the minority. I don’t attempt to refute the statistics. Instead, I explain the difference in definitions between science and society. Then I point out that the critical 97% figure is that at least 97% of scientists have never read the claims of the IPCC Reports. How many people reading this article have read all the IPCC Reports, or even just one of them? If you have, it is probably the deliberately deceptive Summary for Policymakers (SPM). Even fewer will have read the Report of Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. Naively, people, especially other scientists, assume scientists would not falsify, mislead, misrepresent, or withhold information. It is worse, because the IPCC deliberately created the false claim of consensus.

I wrote earlier about the problem of communications between groups and the general public because of the different definition of terms. Among the most damaging, especially in the public debate, is the word consensus. Exploitation of the confusion was deliberate. On 22 December 2004, RealClimate, the website created to manipulate the global warming story, provided this insight;

We’ve used the term “consensus” here a bit recently without ever really defining what we mean by it. In normal practice, there is no great need to define it – no science depends on it. But it’s useful to record the core that most scientists agree on, for public presentation. The consensus that exists is that of the IPCC reports, in particular the working group I report (there are three WG’s. By “IPCC”, people tend to mean WG I).

In other words, it is what the creators of the Reports consider a consensus. This is classic groupthink on display. One characteristic of which says they have,

“…a culture of uniformity where individuals censor themselves and others so that the facade of group unanimity is maintained.”

The source of the 97% claim in the public arena came from John Cook et al., and was published in 2013 in Environmental Research Letters. It was titled “Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature.” I acknowledge to people some of the brilliant dissections of this claim, such as Lord Monckton’s comment, “0.3% consensus, not 97.1%.” If I have time, I explain how the plan to exploit the idea of consensus was developed by the same people and corrupted science exposed in the emails leaked from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in November 2009.

Harvard graduate, medical doctor, and world-famous science fiction writer, Michael Crichton provides an excellent riposte.

“I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”

The attempt to deceive and divert was built into the structure, format, and procedures of the IPCC. Few people know that a major part of the deception is to identify all the problems with the science but only identify them in the Report of Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis. They know most won’t read or understand it and can easily marginalize the few who do. In 2012 I created a list of several of these acknowledgments, but only one is sufficient here to destroy the certainty of their claims about future climates. Section 14.2.2. of the Scientific Section of Third IPCC Assessment Report, (2001) titled “Predictability in a Chaotic System” says:

“The climate system is particularly challenging since it is known that components in the system are inherently chaotic; there are feedbacks that could potentially switch sign, and there are central processes that affect the system in a complicated, non-linear manner. These complex, chaotic, non-linear dynamics are an inherent aspect of the climate system.”

“In sum, a strategy must recognise what is possible. In climate research and modelling, we should recognise that we are dealing with a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore that the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” (My emphasis).

This is not reported in the Summary for Policymakers (SPM) that is deliberately different. David Wojick, an IPCC expert reviewer, explained,

“What is systematically omitted from the SPM are precisely the uncertainties and positive counter evidence that might negate the human interference theory. Instead of assessing these objections, the Summary confidently asserts just those findings that support its case. In short, this is advocacy, not assessment.”

He should add, it is deliberate advocacy, as the RealClimate quote shows.

The SPM receives scant attention from the media and the public, except for the temperature predictions and then only the most extreme figure is selected. The Science Report receives even less attention, but that is by instruction because it is released months later. All of this is why I quoted German physicist and meteorologist Klaus Eckart Puls (English translation version) on the cover of both my books.

“Ten years ago, I simply parroted what the IPCC told us. One day I started checking the facts and data – first I started with a sense of doubt but then I became outraged when I discovered that much of what the IPCC and the media were telling us was sheer nonsense and was not even supported by any scientific facts and measurements. To this day I still feel shame that as a scientist I made presentations of their science without first checking it.” “Scientifically it is sheer absurdity to think we can get a nice climate by turning a CO2 adjustment knob.”

The real challenge of the 97% consensus claim is to get more of the 97% to do what Puls did, read the Reports and find out what the IPCC did and said. They need to do it because the misuse and loss of credibility of science aren’t restricted to the climate deception. As I read and hear from all sectors of science and society, it is endemic (fake news) and potentially devastating. I think one of the most important achievements of my successful trial with Andrew Weaver was to go beyond the defamation charge, against my lawyer’s advice, and show that the misuse of science will and must elicit passionate reactions. So, next time you are confronted with the 97% oblique charge, simply ask the person if they have read any of the IPCC Reports. Just be prepared for the invective.

September 30, 2018 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 2 Comments

BBC Ignores Widely Publicized IPCC Problems

By Donna Laframboise | Big Picture News | September 26, 2018

The BBC recently issued a document telling its journalists how to approach climate stories. That document treats the findings of a UN entity known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as gospel.

The “best science on the issue,” it says, is expressed by the IPCC, “which drew on the expertise of a huge number of the world’s top scientists.

Cripes. Out here in the real world, it’s 2018. But the last decade may as well not have happened as far as the BBC is concerned. In the bubble in which BBC bureaucrats reside it’s still 2007, the year Al Gore and the IPCC were each awarded half of the Nobel Peace Prize – not for their scientific prowess, but for their role in raising the alarm about climate change.

The world was more innocent back then. The InterAcademy Council (IAC) – an international collection of science entities – wouldn’t strike a committee to examine the IPCC’s internal workings until two years later.

The release of the IAC’s August 2010 report should have been a game changer. After all, the report identified “significant shortcomings in each major step of IPCC’s assessment process” (see the first paragraph of Chapter 2).

The New Scientist magazine considered the report so devastating it called for the resignation of the IPCC’s chairman in an article titled Time for Rajendra Pachauri to go.

The Financial Times similarly ran an editorial that urged Mr. Pachauri “to move on.”

Geoffrey Lean, then Britain’s longest-serving environmental correspondent, said the report revealed the IPCC to be an “amateurish, ramshackle operation.”

Louise Gray, environment correspondent for Telegraph, began her account with these words: “In a damning report out earlier this week…”

Over at the Daily Mail, writer Fiona Macrae called it a “scathing report.”

Environmental studies professor Roger Pielke Jr. thought the report “remarkably hard hitting” – and was quoted by the Associated Press saying the IPCC might be redeemed via this flavour of “tough love.”

A headline in the London Times declared: This discredited science body must be purged. Two others – in India and America – used the word “slams” when characterizing the IAC’s conclusions.

Precious few improvements have occurred since then. Being a UN bureaucracy, the IPCC is essentially a law unto itself, an entrenched culture with no meaningful oversight mechanisms.

But the BBC wouldn’t know that. Because rather than performing due diligence to determine how much progress has been made since 2010, the BBC chooses to behave as though the IAC report doesn’t exist. The IPCC’s fall from grace simply never happened.

September 28, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | Leave a comment

The BBC’s Naive View of the UN’s Climate Machine

Big Picture News | September 24, 2018

SPOTLIGHT: Bureaucracies put their trust in other bureaucracies.

BIG PICTURE: A few weeks back, Joanne Nova perfectly captured the position of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) regarding the scandalous UN entity known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

A recent internal document gives BBC journalists advice about how to report on climate matters. In Nova’s words, it declares that the “IPCC is God, can not be wrong.”

The document’s exact words:

What’s the BBC’s position?

  • Man-made climate change exists: If the science proves it we should report it. The BBC accepts that the best science on the issue is the IPCC’s position, set out above. [italics added]

Well, here’s the problem. The IPCC does not do science. The IPCC is a bureaucracy whose purpose is to write reports.

The primary function of those reports is to pave the way for UN climate treaties. A set of facts need to be agreed-upon by all parties in advance, so that negotiators can start from the same page.

IPCC reports get written by government-appointed scientists, according to predetermined guidelines. Portions of IPCC reports then get re-written by politicians, bureaucrats, and diplomats (in effect, this is an unofficial round of negotiating, in advance of the official negotiations that take place later).

International treaties are political instruments. The IPCC exists to make climate treaties possible. The ‘science’ involved has therefore been selected and massaged to serve a political purpose.

Let’s ditch the naiveté. How likely is it that experts appointed by governments that have spent billions fighting climate change, would conclude that man-made climate change doesn’t exist?

TOP TAKEAWAY: Journalists are part of a system of checks and balances that help keep governments and large organizations honest. The BBC is a huge bureaucracy. The geniuses running it have declared another bureaucracy – the UN’s IPCC – a font of scientific truth. How pathetic.

LINKS:

September 25, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Science and Pseudo-Science | , | 1 Comment

IPCC to release “October surprise” on climate change

Watts Up With That? | September 24, 2018

With all the crazy talk about “Russian meddling” in the 2016 Presidential election, one wonders if the same sort of crazy talk might be applied to the release of a special climate report just weeks before the U.S. mid-term elections. Given the timing, you can be sure that whatever is in the report will be front page news and used by the left as a political tool. Here is a press release from the IPCC, h/t to Dr. Willie Soon


Save the Date: IPCC Special Report Global Warming of 1.5ºC

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will meet in Incheon, Republic of Korea, on 1-5 October 2018, to consider the Special Report Global Warming of 1.5ºC. Subject to approval, the Summary for Policymakers will be released on Monday 8 October with a live-streamed press conference.

The press conference, addressed by the IPCC Chair and Co-Chairs from the three IPCC Working Groups, will be open to registered media, and take place at 10:00 local time (KST), 03:00 CEST, 02:00 BST, 01:00 GMT and 21:00 (Sunday 7 October) EDT.

Registered media will also be able to access the Summary for Policymakers and press release under embargo, once they are available. They will also be able to attend the opening session of the meeting at 10:00-11:00 on Monday 1 October. All other sessions of the IPCC meeting are closed to the public and to media.

The opening session of the meeting will include statements by the Chair of the IPCC, senior officials the IPCC’s two parent bodies World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) and of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and senior officials of the Republic of Korea.

The IPCC meetings and the press conference will take place at Songdo Convensia in Incheon.

Arrangements for media registration, submitting questions remotely, booking interviews, and broadcast facilities will be communicated in the coming weeks.

The report, whose full name is Global Warming of 1.5°C, an IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty, is being prepared under the scientific leadership of all three IPCC Working Groups.

Formally, the meeting will start with the 48th Session of the IPCC. Next a joint session of the three Working Groups chaired by their Co-Chairs will consider the Summary for Policymakers line by line for approval. Then the 48th Session of the IPCC will resume to accept the Summary for Policymakers and overall report.

The IPCC decided to prepare the report, in response to an invitation from the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties at its 21st meeting in December 2015 when the Paris Agreement was signed.

Source: http://www.ipcc.ch/news_and_events/ma-p48.shtml

September 24, 2018 Posted by | Science and Pseudo-Science | , , | Leave a comment

Manufacturing consensus: the early history of the IPCC

By Judith Curry | Climate Etc. | January 3, 2018

Short summary: scientists sought political relevance and allowed policy makers to put a big thumb on the scale of the scientific assessment of the attribution of climate change.

Bernie Lewin has written an important new book:

SEARCHING FOR THE CATASTROPHE SIGNAL:The Origins of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The importance of this book is reflected in its acknowledgements, in context of assistance and contributions from early leaders and participants in the IPCC:

This book would not have been possible without the documents obtained via Mike MacCracken and John Zillman. Their abiding interest in a true and accurate presentation of the facts prevented my research from being led astray. Many of those who participated in the events here described gave generously of their time in responding to my enquiries, they include Ben Santer, Tim Barnett, Tom Wigley, John Houghton, Fred Singer, John Mitchell, Pat Michaels . . . and many more.

You may recall a previous Climate Etc. post Consensus by Exhaustion, on Lewin’s 5 part series on Madrid 1995: The last day of climate science.

Read the whole book, it is well worth reading. The focus of my summary of the book is on Chapters 8-16 in context of the theme of ‘detection and attribution’, ‘policy cart in front of the scientific horse’ and ‘manufacturing consensus’. Annotated excerpts from the book are provided below.

The 1970’s energy crisis

In a connection that I hadn’t previously made, Lewin provides historical context for the focus on CO2 research in the 1970’s, motivated by the ‘oil crisis’ and concerns about energy security. There was an important debate surrounding whether coal or nuclear power should be the replacement for oil. From Chapter 8:

But in the struggle between nuclear and coal, the proponents of the nuclear alternative had one significant advantage, which emerged as a result of the repositioning of the vast network of government-funded R&D laboratories within the bureaucratic machine. It would be in these ‘National Laboratories’ at this time that the Carbon Dioxide Program was born. This surge of new funding meant that research into one specific human influence on climate would become a major branch of climatic research generally. Today we might pass this over for the simple reason that the ‘carbon dioxide question’ has long since come to dominate the entire field of climatic research—with the very meaning of the term ‘climate change’ contracted accordingly.

This focus was NOT driven by atmospheric scientists:

The peak of interest in climate among atmospheric scientists was an international climate conference held in Stockholm in 1974 and a publication by the ‘US Committee for GARP’ [GARP is Global Atmospheric Research Programme] the following year. The US GARP report was called ‘Understanding climate change: a program for action’, where the ‘climate change’ refers to natural climatic change, and the ‘action’ is an ambitious program of research.

[There was] a coordinated, well-funded program of research into potentially catastrophic effects before there was any particular concern within the meteorological community about these effects, and before there was any significant public or political anxiety to drive it. It began in the midst of a debate over the relative merits of coal and nuclear energy production [following the oil crisis of the 1970’s]. It was coordinated by scientists and managers with interests on the nuclear side of this debate, where funding due to energy security anxieties was channelled towards investigation of a potential problem with coal in order to win back support for the nuclear option.

The emergence of ‘global warming’

In February 1979, at the first ever World Climate Conference, meteorologists would for the first time raise a chorus of warming concern. The World Climate Conference may have drowned out the cooling alarm, but it did not exactly set the warming scare on fire.

While the leadership of UNEP (UN Environmental Programme) became bullish on the issue of global warming, the bear prevailed at the WMO (World Meteorological Organization). When UNEP’s request for climate scenario modelling duly arrived with the WCRP (World Climate Research Programme) committee, they balked at the idea: computer modelling remained too primitive and, especially at the regional level, no meaningful results could be obtained. Proceeding with the development of climate scenarios would only risk the development of misleading impact assessments.

It wasn’t long before we see scientific research on climate change becoming marginalized in the policy process, in context of the precautionary principle:

At Villach in 1985, at the beginning of the climate treaty movement, the rhetoric of the policy movement was already breaking away from its moorings in the science. Doubts raised over the wildest speculation were turned around, in a rhetoric of precautionary action: we should act anyway, just in case. With the onus of proof reversed, the research can continue while the question remains (ever so slightly) open.

Origins of the IPCC

With regards to the origins of the IPCC:

Jill JÅNager gave her view that one reason the USA came out in active support for an intergovernmental panel on climate change was that the US Department of State thought the situation was ‘getting out of hand’, with ‘loose cannons’ out ‘potentially setting the agenda’, when governments should be doing so. An intergovernmental panel, so this thinking goes, would bring the policy discussion back under the control of governments. It would also bring the science closer to the policymakers, unmediated by policy entrepreneurs. After an intergovernmental panel agreed on the science, so this thinking goes, they could proceed to a discussion of any policy implications.

While the politics were already making the science increasingly irrelevant, Bert Bolin and John Houghton brought a focus back to the science:

Within one year of the first IPCC session, its assessment process would transform from one that would produce a pamphlet sized country representatives’ report into one that would produce three large volumes written by independent scientists and experts at the end of the most complex and expensive process ever undertaken by a UN body on a single meteorological issue. The expansion of the assessment, and the shift of power back towards scientists, came about at the very same time that a tide of political enthusiasm was being successfully channelled towards investment in the UN process, with this intergovernmental panel at its core.

John Houghton (Chair of Working Group I) moved the IPCC towards a model more along the lines of an expert-driven review: he nominated one or two scientific experts—‘lead authors’—to draft individual chapters and he established a process through which these would be reviewed at lead-author meetings.

The main change was that it shifted responsibility away from government delegates and towards practising scientists. The decision to recruit assessors who were leaders in the science being assessed also opened up another problem, namely the tendency for them to cite their own current work, even where unpublished.

However, the problem of marginalization of the science wasn’t going away:

With the treaty process now run by career diplomats, and likely to be dominated by unfriendly southern political agitators, the scientists were looking at the very real prospect that their climate panel would be disbanded and replaced when the Framework Convention on Climate Change came into force.

And many scientists were skeptical:

With the realisation that there was an inexorable movement towards a treaty, there was an outpouring of scepticism from the scientific community. This chorus of concern was barely audible above the clamour of the rush to a treaty and it is now largely forgotten.

At the time, John Zillman presented a paper to a policy forum that tried to provide those engaged with the policy debate some insight into just how different was the view from inside the research community.  Zillman stated that:

. . . that the greenhouse debate has now become decoupled from the scientific considerations that had triggered it; that there are many agendas but that they do not include, except peripherally, finding out whether and how climate might change as a result of enhanced greenhouse forcing and whether such changes will be good or bad for the world.

To give some measure of the frustration rife among climate researchers at the time, Zillman quoted the director of WCRP. It was Pierre Morel, he explained, who had ‘driven the international climate research effort over the past decade’. A few months before Zillman’s presentation, Morel had submitted a report to the WCRP committee in which he assessed the situation thus:

The increasing direct involvement of the United Nations. . . in the issues of global climate change, environment and development bears witness to the success of those scientists who have vied for ‘political visibility’ and ‘public recognition’ of the problems associated with the earth’s climate. The consideration of climate change has now reached the level where it is the concern of professional foreign-affairs negotiators and has therefore escaped the bounds of scientific knowledge (and uncertainty).

The negotiators, said Morel, had little use for further input from scientific agencies including the IPCC ‘and even less use for the complicated statements put forth by the scientific community’.

There was a growing gap between the politics/policies and the science:

The general feeling in the research community that the policy process had surged ahead of the science often had a different effect on those scientists engaged with the global warming issue through its expanded funding. For them, the situation was more as President Bush had intimated when promising more funding: the fact that ‘politics and opinion have outpaced the science’ brought the scientists under pressure ‘to bridge the gap’.

In fact, there was much scepticism of the modelling freely expressed in and around the Carbon Dioxide Program in these days before the climate treaty process began. Those who persisted with the search for validation got stuck on the problem of better identifying background natural variability.

The challenge of ‘detection and attribution’

Regarding Jim Hansen’s 1998 Congressional testimony:

An article in Science the following spring gives some insight into the furore. In ‘Hansen vs. the world on greenhouse threat’, the science journalist Richard Kerr explained that while ‘scientists like the attention the greenhouse effect is getting on Capitol Hill’, nonetheless they ‘shun the reputedly unscientific way their colleague James Hansen went about getting that attention’.

Clearly, the scientific opposition to any detection claims was strong in 1989 when IPCC assessment got underway.

Detection and attribution of the anthropogenic climate signal was the key issue:

During the IPCC review process (for the First Assessment Report), Wigley was asked to answer the question: When is detection likely to be achieved? He responded with an addition to the IPCC chapter that explains that we would have to wait until the half-degree of warming that had occurred already during the 20th century is repeated. Only then are we likely to determine just how much of it is human-induced. If the carbon dioxide driven warming is at the high end of the predictions, then this would be early in the 21st century, but if the warming was slow then we may not know until 2050.

The IPCC First Assessment Report didn’t help the policy makers’ ‘cause.’ In the buildup to the Rio Earth Summit:

To support the discussions of the Framework Convention at the Rio Earth Summit, it was agreed that the IPCC would provide a supplementary assessment. This ‘Rio supplement’ explains:

. . . the climate system can respond to many forcings and it remains to be proven that the greenhouse signal is sufficiently distinguishable from other signals to be detected except as a gross increase in tropospheric temperature that is so large that other explanations are not likely.

Well, this supplementary assessment didn’t help either. The scientists, under the leadership of Bolin and Houghton, are to be commended for not bowing to pressure. But the IPCC was risking marginalization in the treaty process.

In the lead up to CoP1 in Berlin, the IPCC itself was badgering the negotiating committee to keep it involved in the political process, but tensions arose when it refused to compromise its own processes to meet the political need.

However, the momentum for action in the lead up to Rio remained sufficiently strong that these difficulties with the scientific justification could be ignored.  

Second Assessment Report

In context of the treaty activities, the second assessment report of the IPCC was regarded as very important for justifying implementation for the Kyoto Protocol.

In 1995, the IPCC was stuck between its science and its politics. The only way it could save itself from the real danger of political oblivion would be if its scientific diagnosis could shift in a positive direction and bring it into alignment with policy action.  

The key scientific issue at the time was detection and attribution:

The writing of Chapter 8 (the chapter concerned with detection and attribution) got off to a delayed start due to the late assignment of its coordinating lead author. It was not until April that someone agreed to take on the role. This was Ben Santer, a young climate modeller at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory.

The chapter that Santer began to draft was greatly influenced by a paper principally written by Tim Barnett, but it also listed Santer as an author. It was this paper that held, in a nutshell, all the troubles for the ‘detection’ quest. It was a new attempt to get beyond the old stumbling block of ‘first detection’ research: to properly establish the ‘yardstick’ of natural climate variability. The paper describes how this project failed to do so, and fabulously so.

The detection chapter that Santer drafted for the IPCC makes many references to this study. More than anything else cited in Chapter 8, it is the spoiler of all attribution claims, whether from pattern studies, or from the analysis of the global mean. It is the principal basis for  the Chapter 8 conclusion that. . .

. . .no study to date has both detected a significant climate change and positively attributed all or part of that change to anthropogenic causes.

For the second assessment, the final meeting of the 70-odd Working Group 1 lead authors . . . was set to finalise the draft Summary for Policymakers, ready for intergovernmental review. The draft Houghton had prepared for the meeting was not so sceptical on the detection science as the main text of the detection chapter drafted by Santer; indeed it contained a weak detection claim.

This detection claim appeared incongruous with the scepticism throughout the main text of the chapter and was in direct contradiction with its Concluding Summary. It represented a change of view that Santer had only arrived at recently due to a breakthrough in his own ‘fingerprinting’ investigations. These findings were so new that they were not yet published or otherwise available, and, indeed, Santer’s first opportunity to present them for broader scientific scrutiny was when Houghton asked him to give a special presentation to the meeting of lead authors.

However, the results were also challenged at this meeting: Santer’s fingerprint finding and the new detection claim were vigorously opposed by several experts in the field.

On the first day of the Madrid session of Working Group 1 in November 1995, Santer again gave an extended presentation of his new findings, this time to mostly non-expert delegates. When he finished, he explained that because of what he had found, the chapter was out of date and needed changing. After some debate John Houghton called for an ad-hoc side group to come to agreement on the detection issue in the light of these important new findings and to redraft the detection passage of the Summary for Policymakers so that it could be brought back to the full meeting for agreement. While this course of action met with general approval, it was vigorously opposed by a few delegations, especially when it became clear that Chapter 8 would require changing, and resistance to the changes went on to dominate the three-day meeting. After further debate, a final version of a ‘bottom line’ detection claim was decided:

The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.

All of this triggered accusations of ‘deception’:

An opinion editorial written by Frederick Seitz ‘Major deception on “global warming” appeared in the Wall Street Journal on 12 June 1996.

This IPCC report, like all others, is held in such high regard largely because it has been peer-reviewed. That is, it has been read, discussed, modified and approved by an international body of experts. These scientists have laid their reputations on the line. But this report is not what it appears to be—it is not the version that was approved by the contributing scientists listed on the title page. In my more than 60 years as a member of the American scientific community, including service as president of both the NAS and the American Physical Society, I have never witnessed a more disturbing corruption of the peer-review process than the events that led to this IPCC report.

When comparing the final draft of Chapter with the version just published, he found that key statements sceptical of any human attribution finding had been changed or deleted. His examples of the deleted passages include:

  • ‘None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed [climate] changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.’
  • ‘No study to date has positively attributed all or part [of the climate change observed to date] to anthropogenic [manmade] causes.’
  • ‘Any claims of positive detection of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.’

On 4 July, Nature finally published Santer’s human fingerprint paper. In Science, Richard Kerr quoted Barnett saying that he is not entirely convinced that the greenhouse signal had been detected and that there remain ‘a number of nagging questions’. Later in the year a critique striking at the heart of Santer’s detection claim would be published in reply.

The IPCC’s manufactured consensus

What we can see from all this activity by scientists in the close vicinity of the second and third IPCC assessments is the existence of a significant body of opinion that is difficult to square with the IPCC’s message that the detection of the catastrophe signal provides the scientific basis for policy action.

The scientific debate on detection and attribution was effectively quelled by the IPCC Second Assessment Report:

Criticism would continue to be summarily dismissed as the politicisation of science by vested interests, while the panel’s powerful political supporters would ensure that its role as the scientific authority in the on-going climate treaty talks was never again seriously threatened.

And of course the ‘death knell’ to scientific arguments concerned about detection was dealt by the Third Assessment Report, in which the MBH Hockey Stick analysis of Northern Hemisphere paleoclimates effectively eliminated the existence of a hemispheric medieval warm period and Little Ice Age, ‘solving’ the detection conundrum.

JC reflections

Bernie Lewin’s book provides a really important and well documented history of the context and early  history of the IPCC.

I was discussing Lewin’s book with Garth Partridge, who was involved in the IPCC during the early years, he emailed this comment:

I am a bit upset because I was in the game all through the seventies to early nineties, was at a fair number of the meetings Lewin talked about, spent a year in Geneva as one of the “staff” of the early WCRP, another year (1990) as one of the staff of the US National Program Office in the Washington DC, met most of the characters he (Lewin) talked about…… and I simply don’t remember understanding what was going on as far as the politics was concerned.  How naive can one be??  Partly I suspect it was because lots of people in my era were trained(??) to deliberately ignore, and/or laugh at, all the garbage that was tied to the political shenanigans of international politics in the scientific world. Obviously the arrogance of scientists can be quite extraordinary!

Scientific scepticism about AGW was alive and well prior to 1995; took a nose-dive following publication of the Second Assessment Report, and then was was dealt what was hoped to be a fatal blow by the Third Assessment Report and the promotion of the Hockey Stick.

A rather flimsy edifice for a convincing, highly-confident attribution of recent warming to humans.

I think Bernie Lewin is correct in identifying the 1995 meeting in Madrid as the turning point. It was John Houghton who inserted the attribution claim into the draft Summary for Policy Makers, contrary to the findings in Chapter 8.  Ben Santer typically gets ‘blamed’ for this, but it is clearly Houghton who wanted this and enabled this, so that he and the IPCC could maintain a seat at the big policy table involved in the Treaty.

One might forgive the IPCC leaders for dealing with new science and a very challenging political situation in 1995 during which they overplayed their hand.  However, it is the 3rd Assessment Report where Houghton’s shenanigans with the Hockey Stick really reveal what was going on (including selection of recent Ph.D. recipient Michael Mann as lead author when he was not nominated by the U.S. delegation). The Hockey Stick got rid of that ‘pesky’ detection problem.

I assume that the rebuttal of the AGW  ‘true believers’ to all this is that politics are messy, but look, the climate scientists were right all along, and the temperatures keep increasing. Recent research increases confidence in attribution, that we have ‘known’ for decades.

Well, increasing temperatures say nothing about the causes of climate change.  Scientists are still debating the tropical upper troposphere ‘hot spot’, which was the ‘smoking gun’ identified by Santer in 1995 [link]. And there is growing evidence that natural variability on decadal to millennial time scales is much larger than previous thought (and larger than climate model simulations) [link].

I really need to do more blog posts on detection and attribution, I will do my best to carve out some time.

And finally, this whole history seems to violate the Mertonian norm of universalism:

universalism: scientific validity is independent of the sociopolitical status/personal attributes of its participants

Imagine how all this would have played out if Pierre Morel or John Zillman had been Chair of WG1, or if Tom Wigley or Tim Barnett or John Christy had been Coordinating Lead Author of Chapter 8. And what climate science would look like today.

I hope this history of manufacturing consensus gives rational people reason to pause before accepting arguments from consensus about climate change.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Corruption, Deception, Nuclear Power, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | | 1 Comment